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Allegation of ballot ‘switching’ in Virginia is false

November 4, 2020 GMT

CLAIM: Virginia was caught switching 100,000 votes from President Donald Trump to Joe Biden in Fairfax County.

AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. Election officials say a spreadsheet error led to Biden receiving an extra 100,000 votes, but it was quickly corrected. Votes were not taken from President Donald Trump. 

THE FACTS: In Fairfax County, Virginia, allegations of switching votes from Trump to Biden began surfacing on Twitter after the county posted absentee ballot results just after midnight.


Virginia was caught switching 100,000 votes from Trump to Biden in Fairfax County,” one tweet being shared more than 6,000 times said Wednesday. “They claim that it was a ‘counting error.’” 

According to Fairfax County election officials, after absentee ballots were counted, an election official noticed an error on the spreadsheet that showed that in one congressional district, Biden had thousands of extra votes. 

Gary Scott, the county’s Director of Elections, said officials quickly noticed the error in Biden’s votes, which had boosted his total by about 100,000.

That number was then shared to the county’s website. Election officials said the error was corrected after a few minutes. No votes were ever taken out of Trump’s total, Scott said. 

“This was a math error, just people adding up the numbers incorrectly,” Scott said.

As states continue to call their presidential races, posts online are claiming that votes are being stolen from Trump or votes for Biden are magically appearing overnight. There are no official reports of this taking place in any state.


This is part of The Associated Press’ ongoing effort to fact-check misinformation that is shared widely online, including work with Facebook to identify and reduce the circulation of false stories on the platform.

Here’s more information on Facebook’s fact-checking program: